Dr Ludwig Oechslin, the mastermind behind ochs und junior, has a knack for developing complications with as few components as possible. His radical minimalism invades all aspects of watchmaking, and his style is unmistakable. The good news for fans is that the idea of supplementing the brand’s limited customisable watches with serial production models has taken hold. One of Oechslin’s first models was the settimana, a watch displaying the days of the week in his quintessential minimalist style. Breaking from the more industrial vibes of the settimana raw editions of late, the four new settimana models propose an uplifting boost of colour, one for each season. Available as a capsule collection or sold individually, the four models come in 36 and 40mm case sizes. Representing spring, the first model of the seasonal quartet is the pastel pink dial.
As Christian Gafner, head of brand and design for ochs und junior told MONOCHROME in a recent interview, the brand’s most salient characteristic lies in “the way Ludwig Oechslin eschews complexity by bringing radical simplification to the art of watchmaking.” With complicated models ranging from the cent’ anni (perpetual calendar) to the anno (annual calendar) and more straightforward models like the mese (date) and the settimana (weekday), Oeschlin understands that although simpler solutions to big problems are harder to devise, they are, in the long run, more reliable and easier to service. (Note: we apologise for the lower caps used for the brand and collections; it’s just another one of Oechslin’s design twitches.)
Founded in 2006, one of Oechslin’s first creations was the settimana, a watch indicating the days of the week with a deceptively simple arrangement of seven holes indicated by a black or contrasting coloured dot rotating clockwise beneath the dial between 1 and 7 o’clock. Starting with Monday, marked by the rotating dot at 1 o’clock, the dot advances through the seven holes and then swiftly transits through the cut-out arc on the dial from 8 to 12 o’clock to start again on Monday. I might be suffering from a case of facial pareidolia, but does anybody else interpret the arc on the left as a smile?
Using just four components, including the brass dial with a functional back, the settimana is equipped with a gear for the weekday display, a triple function gear and a transmission gear. Powered by a Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement, the movement delivers a power reserve of 38 hours. The date function has been suppressed to create the necessary space for the settimana weekday display driven by the hour wheel through a reduction gear. All watches are assembled by ochs und junior in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Last year, the settimana appeared with a ‘raw’ industrial titanium case – first with a nickel-coated dial, followed by a warmer brass dial in 2022 – complete with imperfections from machining and milling. Like the more playful and colourful settimana next collection, the new seasons capsule collection is designed by Cajetana Oechslin (daughter of Ludwig, I presume?). Like other settimana models, the two-part round case and straight short lugs are made of grade 5 titanium and feature visible traces of machining and milling, a characteristic Oechslin touch. Exceptionally lightweight, the 36mm case weighs just 55g, while the 40mm case weighs 57g.
As a harbinger of spring, the first model has a pretty pink dial with a darker pink dot indicating the days of the week. The hour and minute hands are coated with white Super-LumiNova, and the central seconds hand matches the darker pink colour of the dot. All four models use the same white hands, but the colour theme varies. Summer is captured with a light green dial and a darker green dot and central seconds hand; autumn is pale orange with darker orange accents, and winter is light blue with darker blue accents. All four models come with a handmade leather strap by Sabina Brägger.
Availability & Price
Delivery of the first settimana spring model is anticipated for late February – early March; the entire four-part capsule collection will be available on 31 March 2023. As mentioned, the models are non-customisable. The price of an individual watch is CHF 2,500 (incl. 7.7% tax) / CHF 2,300 (export price); the four-piece capsule collection will retail for CHF 9,000 (incl. tax) / CHF 8,350 (export). Orders can be placed directly at ochsundjunior.swiss.